Joe Cullen claimed his maiden European Tour title to defeat Michael van Gerwen 8-5 from the Darts Matchplay in Mannheim .
As he conquered World Champion Van Gerwen with a clinical and confident showing the Bradford genius asserted the third-ranking name of his profession in style.
Having never won beyond the semi-finals at the Tour, Cullen saw Glen Durrant, William O’Connor and James Wade off on Sunday in the decider at the Maimarkthalle.
He revealed no nerves from the World Champion, opening the closing and promising four of the opening five arms to move up 4-1, adding a 14-darter to split throw.
Van Gerwen reacted in the sixth to see Cullen power home as he started up a 5-2 lead, a 170 checkout to bring the German crowd to their feet.
Van Gerwen showed his course to measure the closing, but Cullen recovered the edge with success 13-darters to lead 7-5 – punishing misses in the Dutchman to split – .
“To beat Michael in the final would be excellent,” said Cullen, who averaged over 101 in the closing. “It is the biggest moment in my career, it’s good.
“Michael is the consummate professional, he is so gracious in defeat and victory. Me and Michael are great friends and he uttered me .
“It was only one of the weekends. We’re not Michael, that the point is where we perform very bad or all play well and Michael has established the standard.
“I’ve been threatening to win a tournament for a little while and this weekend I thought I was going to win it. It was really thought by it. I couldn’t find that anyone could beat me now.”
It’s not long to wait patiently until darts is back on Sky Sports, the World Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday, October 6 in Dublin’s Citywest Arena and seven days of policy continues until the final on Saturday.